Florida's biggest educational event for honey bee hobbyists, professionals and anyone interested in honey bees is back for a seventh year, University of Florida officials announced this week.
UF’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory has organized and hosted the event since 2008. The event will be held at the UF Whitney Marine Laboratory in Marineland, Fla., March 7-8.
Everyone is welcome to register to attend Bee College. The two-day event offers classes for all ages and experience levels, from novice to seasoned beekeeper. This year’s schedule includes more than 50 classes, and nearly half of the course material is new, event organizer Jeannette Klopchin said. The Bee College Honey Show, the state’s largest competition of its kind, includes 20 entry classes, from comb honey, to extracted honey, and even beekeeping gadgets. See www.ufhoneybee.com for rules.
Special guest speakers include Dewey Caron, a 40-year veteran in apicultural research, extension and instruction, and Jim and Maryann Frazier of Penn State University. The entomologists are considered experts in honey bees, chemical ecology, pesticides and pest management.
The Junior Bee College, an all-day event on Saturday, March 8, is open to children ages 6 through 16; kids will learn everything from basic entomology and bee biology to practical beekeeping through hands-on, fun, interactive, games and lessons.
Bee College attendees have their choice of a minimum of five class options at any given time of the day. Courses cover everything from basics, such as setting up an apiary to more complicated topics, such as making beekeeping a business. Many classes are hands on and take participants into lab settings to detect honeybee diseases or teach participants the laws that govern honey bottling, labeling and sales in Florida.
The cost is $125 per person to attend for one day or $185 for two days. Family and other discount rates are offered.